Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Mara Lunch - Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Today, my friend Angie and I went to The Mara for lunch at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.  My family has been dining at Boma at the Animal Kingdom Lodge for years, but I didn't even know The Mara existed until I read a review by my friend Sarah from Gluten Free & Dairy Free at WDW.

I was really impressed with how many gluten free options were available at The Mara for lunch.  On the first screen here, I could get a burger with a gluten free bun, my favorite gluten free chicken tenders with fries, or a pepperoni pizza.

Everything on screen two is available gluten free.  All the flatbreads can be made on an Udi's gluten free pizza shell, and the caesar salad is ok without croutons.

The Mara Salad was mentioned as a gluten free choice, but I can't remember if the chef offered me gluten free options for the turkey sandwich or the chicken pita.  I almost chose the Mara Salad, which is described as a blend of Euro greens with chicken breast, lentils, chickpeas, cucumbers, tomatoes, feta, and chili-cilantro dressing.  Sounds delicious!  

On the final menu screen, I was told that the African stew, and the sausage lentil and butternut squash soups were all gluten free.   The list of gluten free options offered to me was so long, I know I am forgetting some things.  

I decided on the African Stew after the chef offered me a sample.  It contains beef, turkey, ham, carrots, potatoes, peas, chickpeas, and raisins, and is served over basmati rice.  This dish was incredibly flavorful and delicious.  I loved the combination of the meats, and the sweetness of the raisins.  

The Mara offers a selection of mini gluten free cupcakes from BabyCakes NYC at Downtown Disney.  

The chef also told me that they have gluten free Zebra Domes, a dessert that is also available at Boma.  Do not buy the Zebra Domes from the refrigerated section, because they contain gluten.  Ask for the gluten free ones from the back.

My friend Angie and I were both really impressed with our meals at The Mara.  Angie, who does not have to eat gluten free, really enjoyed her vegetable flatbread, which looked pretty incredible.  I loved the laid back, quiet atmosphere of The Mara.  Next time I visit, I promise to take some pictures of the restaurant.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served at The Mara.  You can view their menu here

March 19, 2014 Update -- My daughters and I had lunch at The Mara today with my mother-in-law.  I had the African Stew again, and my daughters ordered the the Mara Salad and the Caesar Salad with Chicken.  I wish I had thought to take pictures of their meals so you could see how huge they were.  We split an order of the gluten free zebra domes, which were quite delicious.  The creamy center contains Chocolate Amarula Liquor, which is made from the fruit of the African marula tree.  If you like the taste of coffee and chocolate, this dessert is for you.  My girls were both sad they only got one!


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